About Italian Wine

About Italian Wine
Italy is regularly the world's leading producer of wine quantity-wise (or second next to France - the numbers are very similar), which should come as no surprise, as wine is produced in each of the country's 20 regions (this is the only country in the world where this is true). While there are still many inexpensive red wines produced in the south as well as in Abruzzo in the country's central region,along with a multitude of value-priced whites from the Veneto region in the north, the emphasis over the last thirty years in the Italian wine industry has been more on quality as well as regional and varietal differences in their wines.

Some of the world's most highly regarded red wines, such as Brunello di Montalcino (Tuscany) as well as Barolo and Barbaresco (Piedmont) are produced in Italy and have brought the country great respect from critics and consumers the world round. Of course, Chianti is a moderately priced red that is as popular a red wine as there is anywhere and Barbera from Piedmont and Nero d'Avola from Sicily, two tangy, spicy reds, have become extremely popular over the past two decades.

As of late, Italian white wines have made great strides, as examples from Friuli, Alto Adige and Campania among other regions, have been recognized for their distinctiveness and vibrancy.

Combining a sense of history with the emphasis on traditional indigenous varieties, along with a willingness to experiment and craft wines that modern consumers are looking for, the Italian wine industry is as strong and as relevant as ever.

Top Picks for Italy

Saracco 2017  Moscato dAsti DOCG
95 points
Best Buy
Silvery straw color. Aromas of acacia, turkish delight, honeysuckle, and peaches in cream with a round, vibrant, very sweet medium body and a smooth, involved, medium-long baby’s breath, mango lassi, pineapple confection, poured fondant, and candied pear finish. A very sweet, completely delicious Moscato that drapes that palate in opulence.
95 points $16.99 Best Buy
Ruggeri 2017 Giustino B. Superiore Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG
95 points
Silvery emerald straw color. Fresh aromas of finger lime, exotic flowers, candied pear, and bamboo with a fruity fat body and a layered, long turkish delight, wet stone, orange sherbet, and lily finish. A stylish Prosecco with intriguing minerality, memorable length, and kisses of sweetness.
95 points $32.99
Tenuta Rocca 2013 Bussia Barolo DOC
95 points
Light garnet color. Aromas of red licorice and peony with a tannic, lively, dry medium-to-full body and a refreshing, medium-long black licorice, allspice, dried raspberry, rosemary, and tobacco finish with cottony tannins. A fruity and well-structured Barolo with tannins built for the long haul; this is one to cellar until the finest occasion.
Alea Ludendo 2013  Elba Aleatico Passito
95 points
Deep purple color. Fruity, floral aromas of sugared plums, pressed violet, honeycomb, sweet cigars, and dark chocolate with a round, vibrant, sweet medium body and a smooth, layered, long ginger, saffron, dried figs, mint creme, and molasses cookies finish with well-integrated tannins and light oak. A delightful and nuanced Dessert Wine to finish an excellent meal; just lovely.
Awards: 2017 Best Dessert Wine
Azienda Uggiano 2011 Petraia Super Tuscan Toscano IGT
94 points
Black ruby color. Mature aromas of raisin, plum butter, wood-grilled mushroom, spearmint, compressed watermelon, lingonberry preserve, and coffee cake with an vibrant, dryish medium-to-full body and a warming, intriguing, medium-long sun dried tomato, cedar, graphite, and charcoal finish with firm tannins and moderate oak. A lovely Super Tuscan that delivers a mature, savory streak alongside its friendly fruits.
94 points $38.99
Pieropan 2016  Soave Classico
94 points
Pale yellow straw color. Perfumed aromas of struck flint, dried apricot, dried pineapple, tangerine, and incense with a satiny, vibrant, fruity medium body and a sleek, subtle, medium-long honey comb, fresh berry, and hard cheeses finish. Precise balance and layers of textures make this a fine Soave to take seriously.
94 points $20.99
Villadoria 2015 Senatore Primo Piemonte DOC
94 points
Best Buy
Bright ruby color. Clean, floral, fresh, fruity, herbal aromas and flavors of spray roses, dried cranberry, clove, and wild strawberry with a silky, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light body and a tingling, refreshing, buoyant rose wood, raspberry, orange zest, and blueberry finish with silky, soft tannins and a suggestion of oak. A fresh, charming blend from Piedmont with lovely structure and pretty fruit and floral notes.
94 points $13.99 Best Buy
Recchia 2010 Ca Bertoldi Amarone della Valpolicella Classico
94 points
Black garnet color. Aromas of stewed plums, spray roses, herb garden, and sweet tobacco with a velvety, vibrant, fruity medium-to-full body and a complex, long dark chocolate, cherry-coconut bar, candied tangerine peel, sundried tomato, green almond, and mocha finish with well-integrated tannins and moderate oak. A delicious and fruit-forward Amarone that should please any fan of the style.
94 points $39.99
Monteversa 2014 Rossodiversa Colli Euganei
94 points
Light garnet color. Earthy aromas and flavors of tar, freshly turned earth, foraged mushrooms, and ripe sour cherry with a satiny, crisp, dry-yet-fruity light-to-medium body and an effortless, subtle, medium-long graphite, forest berries, dried fig, and dried herbs and lavender finish with well-integrated tannins and no oak. A dreamy, slatey, terrior-driven red to take seriously.
Ruggeri NV Gialloro Valdobbiadene Prosecco Superiore DOCG
93 points
Best Buy
Emerald straw color. Aromas and flavors of sliced apples, underripe nectarine, gravel, raw pistachio, and custard with a supple, crisp, effervescent, dryish light body and a silky, captivating, carefree freshly peeled orange finish. This is a showstopper example of the heights that DOCG Prosecco can reach, showing off a serious and dry palate to complement its natural fruity qualities, and a finish that goes on for days.
93 points $19.99 Best Buy